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Indian & English dictionary


Published 1830
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Ms. codex

Title taken from ms. slip of covers of volumes 1-4

Dates of publication suggested by JCB Catalogue of manuscript codices

Originally made up of eight volumes, this manuscript Indian and English dictionary consists of four surviving volumes. Based on an extensive compilation process in which terms for various North American Indian languages were collected from different sources. The sources used included A key into the language of America / by Roger Williams, first printed in 1643, with words in the Narragansett language, designated as "RW" in the manuscript, a list of Nanticoke terms labeled as "Nan" and other lists as yet unidentified, labeled as "A", "B", "C", "H", "L", "S", "W", and "Z"

Dictionary entries were written on lined paper and then cut out as individual slips and pasted onto the pages of unrelated printed books in an alphabetical arrangement, forming an attempt at a comprehensive dictionary of Indian and English terms, probably limited to Algonquian languages used in the northeastern United States

Volume 1 has 142 pages and consists of entries Aa to Me; the papers are pasted on the sheets of volume 2 of The history of the wars which arose out of the French Revolution to which is prefixed, a review of the causes of that event / by Alexander Stephens, Philadelphia, 1804. This volume retains its title page, is bound in full contemporary mottled calf and measures 22 cm. tall

Volume 2 has p. 171-359 and consists of entries Me to Wa; the papers are pasted on sheets made up from a German hymnbook. This volume is bound in contemporary full mottled calf and measures 18 cm. tall

Volume 3 has p. 360-421 and consists of entries Wa to Zed, and a supplementary list for entried Ach to Yu, on p. 422-447; the papers are pasted on sheets made up from a German theological text. This volume is bound in contemprary full mottled calf and measures 17 cm. tall

Volume 4 has p. 358-392 and consists of entires Va to Yo; the papers are pasted on sheets made up from a German prayer-book. This volume is half bound in contemporary calf with marbled boards and is designated as volume 4, although it is labeled volume 3 and has "English & Indian dictionary" on the ms. label on the front board. This volume measures 18 cm. tall

Volumes 1-4 are housed in three cream cloth covered phase boxes with volumes 3 and 4 being housed together; the phase boxes measure 25 cm. tall

John Carter Brown Library copy acquired from the estate of Bradford F. Swan

Provenance of the John Carter Brown Library copy: Rhode Island Historical Society: book stamps on front pastedowns


Volume 4
Publisher [Providence, Rhode Island? : s.n.]
Pages 88
Language Algonquian; English
Call number b5700810
Digitizing sponsor John Carter Brown Library
Book contributor John Carter Brown Library
Collection jcbindigenous; JohnCarterBrownLibrary; americana
Notes No table-of-contents pages found. No copyright page found.

Full catalog record MARCXML


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